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172                                    VERDICT  OX  1XDIA
so weirdly muddle-headed, sincerity or the lack of it, ceases to be
of any consequence. Here is one of his latest "definitions5. ..if
one can use such a phrase to describe so vague a blur o'f confused
thought.
"If a man fights with his sword single-handed against a horde of
dacoits armed to the teeth, I should say he is fighting 11011-
violently. Supposing a mouse fighting a eat resisted the cat with
his bharp teeth, would you call that mouse violent ? In the same
icaij, for the Poles w stand bravely against the Gei man hordes vastly
superior in number and strength was almost non-violent.'*
Any man who could tell you precisely what that means, and
even more, what it doesn't, would be something of a genius.
Apparently Gandhi wishes to imply that a Polish machine gun,
in the process of mowing down oO Nazis, was " almost non-violent"
because there were not a sufficient number of other machine guns
on its flanks. In other words, violence when employed against
supe/'ior odds automatically becomes non-violence /
* A very convenient theory "as one critic observed, *for the rebels
in an unarmed revolt! *
Very convenient indeed. It insist have been a perpetual solace
to the non-violent nationalists who so often poured non-violent
petrol over policemen and lit it with non-violent matches, and
the non-violent mobs who.. .always provided that they were in, a
majority of a thousand to one.. .battered British and Canadian
boys to death with non-violent bludgeons.
Over the bodies of these victims of his policy Gandhi could still
smile his toothless smile and say "Well really you know, all this
Is almost non-violence ! *
However, even Gandhi, in the months preceding his imprison-
ment., had begun to drop the mask. He was convinced that
Britain, was finished and that Japan had won the war. He was
anxious to stand well with the little yellow men who, he thought,
would shortly be his new masters. Needless to say, he did not
confess this in so many words, for he always speaks with one eye
on America, and if America had caught him in an overt flirtation
with. Japan, the consequences to his prestige would have been
1 Quoted in Congress Responsibility for disturbances 1942-43 (Government of
India Press).